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It will be difficult – but not impossible – to detect the chemical breakdown products of any nerve agents that may have been used in the Damascus attack, but access to the victims could be critical in proving the illicit use of chemical weapons.

...and how a cuppa can put the lid on cancer

Drinking Chinese tea isn't just trendy - it might stop you getting cancer. But the good news does not extend to the traditional British cuppa, because its brewing process destroys the chemical that makes green tea so beneficial, writes Charles Arthur.

Vitamin study shows millions need daily help

Unrecognised vitamin deficiency may be affecting millions of people because their genetic make-up affects their capacity to absorb nutrients from food, scientists say.

Letter: Why the dinosaurs were prone to gout

Sir: There is an excellent reason why Tyrannosaurus rex, and other reptiles and birds, might show signs of gout (report, 22 May).

... and other natural remedies

Plants and herbs being examined for their anti-cancer properties.

Obituary: Norman Pirie

Norman Pirie was a biochemist distinguished for his pioneering work on plant viruses, a crusading advocate for the dietary use of leaf protein and, more broadly, a man of science who wrote with force and lucidity on many scientific questions of his time.

Appliance to science, but women still miss out on first degree

While Oxford asks why female graduates get fewer top marks, a trio of a cademics say it is to do with the way men show off

Blood service chiefs could face charges

Irish blood transfusion authorities could face criminal charges following the report of a tribunal of inquiry which found that they continued providing blood plasma to patients long after they were told it was contaminated with the hepatitis C virus.

Letter: In the mind

In reply to Robin Blake's review of The Sickening Mind by Paul Martin (Review, 23 February), all medical students are taught the clinical features of idiopathic and psychosomatic illnesses and the importance of the doctor/patient relationship. There is a vast (clinical) literature from "the paper rose" as a trigger of an asthma attack to case studies where a cancer followed soon after the psychological shock of life crisis, (such as bereavement). Doctors do not "forget" after drawing "a few vague maps" and not "face" the possibilities.

Nature: Heartache proves a gerbil is for life

Lovelorn gerbils separated from their mates display the same symptoms as depressed divorcees, scientists have found. Researchers at Leeds University believe the rodents could provide useful models for studying the biochemistry of depression in humans.

Grow your own health tonic - can wheatgrass work wonders?

In search of the trendiest organic fix? Look no further than Planet Organic, a West London natural food supermarket, now supplying the latest US wonder tonic - wheatgrass juice.

Nothing to fear from techno-corn

Genetic engineers have encountered apathy and uninformed hostility from the public

Letter: Farm antibiotics the real danger

Sir: In your leading article on food scares (4 December), you say that genetic engineering of food "should be no more controversial than any other form of scientific research".

POP : Ezio Borderline, London

Sometimes, in a back-handed sort of way, you think there really may be hope for Britain. For example, wandering down Charing Cross Road last Friday, you might have wondered who could possibly be playing the Borderline. One of London's least appetising venues, this hell-hole had a queue stretching practically to Waterloo. To see? Ezio. C'mon - obscure twosome from Cambridge; play songs of lamentation, dreams and desire on a couple of acoustics; debut LP Black Boots on Latin Feet out a year ago, good reviews, sank without trace, though it probably gets played to death at dinner parties around Islington's Canonbury Square. Further clue for stragglers: Sue Lawley.

i see a tall, dark accounts executive with nice fingernails

So they didn't employ you . Was it your experience that was wrong, your appearance - or maybe your star sign? Bill Saunders on personnel hocus pocus

Competition: Literary quiz

This gastro-literary quiz is divided into three courses, each with an element of self-service. We give you all the ingredients - both the questions and the answers - all you have to do is mix them together to taste. The prizes for the winner are all the food and drink books in the Dillons Christmas catalogue. There are also three runners-up prizes of pounds 100 of Dillons Gift Vouchers and an additional 10 runners-up prizes of pounds 50 Dillons gift vouchers.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most